First Essex has launched new overnight services to transport passengers to Stansted Airport.

The First Essex Airlink X20 service will begin its 24-hour operation on Monday, February 26.

It will ferry passengers between Colchester and Stansted via Coggeshall, Braintree, and Great Dunmow.

These new services are set to depart from Colchester for Stansted at 11.25pm and 1.25am, and from Stansted to Colchester at 00.45am and 2.45am.

The inaugural 1.25am service from Colchester to Stansted, which arrives at its destination at 2.37am, is specially intended for passengers who need to catch the first flight departures at around 6am.

Alternatively, returning travellers can take advantage of the new 00.45am service from Stansted, which caters to those reaching the airport on late-night arrivals.

Dunmow Broadcast: The First Essex Airlink X20 service will commence its 24-hour operation on February 26

The blue buses feature plush leather seats and "ample room" for legs and luggage.

Passengers can also leave their cars at home and save on airport parking costs by taking advantage of the government's £2 fare capping scheme, applicable to all Airlink services.

Customers using the first overnight services in the early hours of February 26 will receive free travel kits.

Julian Elliott, head of network at First East of England, said: "The X20 service has proven to be a really popular addition to our network, enabling customers to access Stansted cheaply and easily.

"When you consider the high cost of parking, the £2 fare cap offers bus users a significant saving.

"We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with London Stansted to extend the service for the many customers who arrive or depart from the airport at night."

Steve Mills, head of landside operations, MAG London Stansted Airport, said: "London Stansted is delighted to be working in partnership with First Essex to further develop the X20 bus service, providing kick start funding for these additional early morning services.

"Bus and coach development is crucial for the continued growth of public transport mode share at London Stansted and to ensure we continue to lead the way in sustainable travel with nearly 50 per cent of our air passengers travelling by bus, coach or train to and from the airport."